Coffee and Literature Have a Lot More in Common Than You Think

Over the years, coffee has proven itself as one of the most reliable companions to fiction. This has been documented in many instances.

There is a brilliant poem by Richard Brautigan from Revenge of the Lawn. It starts as follows: ‘Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.’ I stand by this. But, as Anthony Trollope would put it in The Warden, ‘What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?’ To that, you can’t add much more.

I see the relationship between coffee and literature as a love affair – it inevitably invites curiosity and it provokes obsession. And, as is the custom with all precious affairs, I treat this time with careful preparation. I take my coffee hot, not boiling. I cool it with a dash of milk, and on particularly bitter days, I’ll allow one sugar. My books are preferred to have a well-cracked spine, and you’ll often find annotations in the margins. The curtains must be drawn, to keep the allure and secrecy.

The infographic below, put together by Birch CoffeeSprudge and Signature, which I found it particularly pleasing to go through, presents a wealth of coffee and literature overlappings throughout history.

Book-Lovers-Guide-to-Coffee-Infographic

Is coffee your reading companion as well? If not, what is your preferred literary beverage?

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